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Mahogany Opera Group announces the world premiere of The Mother

The MotherMahogany Opera Group present a staged concert version and world premiere of composer Laurence Osborn’s The Mother on 25 April 2018.

The opera, developed by some of Britain’s most exciting young voices in the art form, is based on an absurdist play of the same name by the Polish playwright and artist Witkacy (Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, 1885-1939). The original libretto has been written by journalist and writer Theo Merz, a regular collaborator of Laurence Osborn’s.

The project was conceived and developed by Frederic Wake-Walker, Mahogany’s Artistic Director through their Various Stages Research & Development programme. It is a showcase of the company’s commitment to supporting the development of work by emerging talent and to championing the benefits of investing in the R&D process with new opera.

Although Witkacy’s work has been hugely influential to the development of European theatre, he remains largely unknown in the UK, and many of Witkacy’s own radical views on theatre have not to date been injected into an operatic context. In a spirit of European openness and connectivity, this performance will bring the work of Witkacy to new audiences and will be appropriately premiered at POSK, the Polish Social and Cultural Association in London.

The contemporary relevance of Witkacy’s work is also evident through the themes that are dealt with in his work. Laurence Osborn said of his choice to set The Mother:

Witkacy’s disdain for conformity, and his horror in the face of an increasingly mechanised and brainwashed society – horror that eventually drove him to suicide – still have so much currency in 2018. Theo [Merz] brought these details of Witkacy’s politics to the foreground of the libretto with such vividness and precision. If any one motivation was the driving force behind the composition of The Mother, it was the desire to amplify the enduring resonance of the play’s political message.

Indebted to Eastern European theatre, and supported by a hugely exciting cast, including leading contemporary singer Lore Lixenberg playing the titular role, The Mother is a bitingly satirical response to the contemporary world and the traditions of opera.

The Mother
Opera by Laurence Osborn with a libretto by Theo Merz, adapted from Witkacy’s play The Mother

The Mother Lore Lixenberg
Leon James Hall
Dorothea Lindsay Bramley
Father Geoffrey Dolton
Sophia Rebecca Bottone
Academic and De Proud Andrew Dickinson
Theatre Owner and Modesta Daniel Norman

Jamie Man, conductor
Sylwester Łuczak, lighting
Frederic Wake-Walker, staging

Box Office
The Mother
25 April 2018, 7.30pm
POSK – Polish Social and Cultural Association
238-246 King Street
London W6 0RF


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